Press Releases

Young Manitobans are Making a Difference in Our World

Released on February 10th 2011

Winnipeg, MB. – This is International Development Week (IDW) 2011! The theme for this year is I Am Making A Difference. Throughout the province, Manitobans are contributing their time, skills and consumer choices to improve our world. IDW offers us an opportunity to appreciate the impressive contributions that people make every day in Manitoba, throughout the country and the world to improve the lives of others.

There are many ways in which we can Make a Difference. MCIC has profiled eight young people from around the province who reflect a broad spectrum of involvement and participation. Through actions that range from buying Fair Trade products and educating students to volunteering overseas and studying International Development, these eight people demonstrate how everyone has the potential to contribute.

The video profiles have been posted on www.mcic.ca as part of the I Am Making a Difference campaign. All Manitobans are invited to view the videos and enter a contest to win a $250 Fair Trade Wardrobe. International Development Week is proclaimed by the Canadian International Development Agency, whose funding made MCIC’s IDW 2011 campaigns possible.

Please contact Janice Hamilton at MCIC on (204) 987 6420 if you would like to profile or arrange interviews with any of these young people.

Carly Welham is a high school student from Gimli, Manitoba. She is Making a Difference by promoting youth voice through the MB 4 Youth Advisory Council as well as working to ensure that young Manitobans’ opinions are represented in local government. Carly founded the ‘Trick or Eat’ campaign in Gimli, encouraging youth in her area to collect cans for food banks on Halloween. She is a shining example of the many students in high school who involve themselves in their community and work to Make a Difference in our world.

Tyler Morden works for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. He is Making a Difference by helping new immigrant children integrate into Canadian society. He took his passion overseas working for a WUSC program reintegrating child soldiers in Sri Lanka. As with all of his development work, Tyler argues that the people whom he helps make as much a difference in his life as he does in theirs.

Ainsley Frederickson teaches High School students at Warren Collegiate in Warren, Manitoba. Ainsley is Making a Difference by educating her students on Fair Trade and by working with those students to encourage the school board to consider Fair Trade initiatives. Her students then go on to make a difference by buying Fair Trade products and getting their friends and family to do the same. Ainsley’s students exhibit an energy and hunger for change that we must nourish in our youth, if we are to see lasting and sustainable change.

Divine Masabarakiza volunteers for the Canadian Red Cross Society, an MCIC member agency. Originally from Burundi, Divine is Making a Difference by raising awareness among Manitoba youth about the devastation that Malaria causes in our world. Her volunteer work raises money for bednets to be sent overseas through fundraising activities in the province. Divine is motivated to work with young people as she believes that youth demonstrate an energy and inspiration that is so essential to create a great impact in the developing world. Divine shares her work in both English and French.

Nick Reid works for his father’s company Green Bean Coffee Imports which is a certified Fair Trade coffee roaster. Nick is Making a Difference by using the company as a platform to promote Fair Trade to Manitobans as a equitable system of production and trade, whereby producers are paid a fair price. He travels throughout the province to share his knowledge and believes that many more young Manitobans are creating change than we would think. Nick was one of six students who wrote the song ‘Get Up!’, which encourages all young people to make a difference, in any way they can.

Roberta Gramlich has worked for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, a member agency of MCIC. She is Making a Difference by helping volunteers in Canada implement educational campaigns in their communities on international issues and works in both English and French. Roberta travelled to Guatemala to visit some development projects and learned that big progress is being made in the lives of many women who are now able to read and write and improve their lives. Such experiences served only to reconfirm Roberta’s conviction in her work, and she has seen first hand that both young and older people working together can Make a Difference.

Othello Wesee helped to develop the African Market in the Central Park area of, Winnipeg. Born in Liberia, he saw first hand the injustice that young people had to bear in the refugee camps of the Ivory Coast. When he immigrated to Canada, Othello was determined to Make a Difference by encouraging fellow African immigrants to produce their traditional goods and sell them in an African Market which he set up with the help of other volunteers. This brightened up the area of Winnipeg in which it is situated and continues to be a space where people from all backgrounds can share their culture.

Zoë Gross is studying Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Zoë is Making a Difference by putting what she has learned into practice in developing countries. She worked for six months in Nairobi, Kenya for a national women’s organization, and discovered that many of the concerns that Kenyan women had were similar to those of Canadian women. Zoë believes that these shared problems reflect how our world today is interconnected in so many different ways, a state that, she believes, justifies the importance of everyone’s participation in development.

The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) is a coalition of over 40 organizations involved in international development. MCIC works within Manitoba to build understanding and engagement on international issues. Visit www.mcic.ca.

For more information, please contact: Janice Hamilton, Executive Director Manitoba Council for International Cooperation Phone: 204-987-6420 (office) or 204-795-2914 (cell) E-mail: janice@mcic.ca